Jose Ramirez is on the cusp of his 20th professional boxing victory. To get it next month, he’ll have to defeat an opponent who already has 20 wins as well as a bout against a former world champion on his résumé.
Ramirez (19-0, 14 KOs), the 2012 U.S. Olympian and Avenal native who now fights out of Fresno, will face Jake Giuriceo in a scheduled 10-round, junior welterweight bout May 5 at Reno Convention Center as part of the “Solo Boxeo” series on UniMas (Comcast channel 12).
Giuriceo, 32, a Youngstown, Ohio native, is 20-5-1 with five KOs. He fought future World Boxing Council super lightweight champion Viktor Postol in 2015, losing by unanimous decision at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Postol won the title in his next bout against Lucas Matthysse, only to lose it one fight later to current champ Terence Crawford.
Ramirez is the WBC’s fifth-rated super lightweight contender – the sanctioning organization’s equivalent of the junior welterweight division.
“I’m looking forward to fighting a good opponent,” Ramirez said. “I want to make that statement that I’m ready for that world title.”
Agent/promoter Rick Mirigian said he is looking forward to seeing how Ramirez performs four months removed from his most recent bout, a sixth-round KO of Issouf Kinda at Save Mart Center.
“This opponent took former world champion Viktor Postol the distance,” he said. “Ramirez is ready and will fight anyone Top Rank puts in front of him.”
Ramirez has been training with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, assistant Marvin Somodio and Charles Trembley.
“I feel ready and been sparring nine rounds and will pick it up to 10 rounds,” Ramirez said. “I’m already on that level and in the best shape. I feel like my timing is working perfectly.”
To be fighting on Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867), means a lot to Ramirez. He said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fight on an important date in the history of Mexico, which is where his parents were born.
“I’m going to be able to perform, deliver and show what Mexicans are made of,” he said. “It’s a reminder to show that we’re strong people and my family are strong people and I come from a strong bloodline.”
LOCAL FIGHTER WATCH
Results for Fresno-area fighters in recent bouts:
- Marcos Hernandez (9-1) of Fresno, lost by split decision to Kyrone Davis
- Michael Ruiz Jr. (11-4-3) of Fresno, technical draw vs. Rodrigo Guerrero
- Kevin Mendoza (3-0, 1 KO) of Fresno, won by first-round KO over Cristian Vizcarra